MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – While the first WVU football practice of the season was closed, head coach Neal Brown spoke on Wednesday to give updates on his roster and his staff at the start of fall camp.
Brown was quick to mention that the evaluation period won’t begin until the players are in pads, and the first few practices are intended to familiarize the players with their respective systems.
Regardless, there are plenty of updates surrounding Brown and WVU football at the start of camp.
Fall camp attendance
Brown noted over the summer that only one scholarship player was not in attendance for OTAs and other summer workouts. New to the FBS this season, teams can carry 120 (formerly 105) players, with 85 scholarship players.
All scholarship players reported to fall camp on Tuesday.
As Brown noted at Big 12 Football Media Days, there are still two scholarships available to fill for the 2023 season. He previously mentioned that they may target a defensive player in the transfer portal, but as the season approaches, Brown decided he will fill those one, or both, of those spots internally within the WVU walk-on program.
“I think that’s really important,” he said. “I think it’s good for the locker room. It’s good for your walk-on program that’s been really good for us, especially in-state.”
He also offered an update on injured players and mentioned that he would like to add a few more walk-on offensive linemen. There are also a handful of walk-ons who will join the team when school starts.
Developing a personality as a team
Brown described his 2023 squad as having a certain “youthful energy” as it has evolved through the summer months.
“The personality really starts in January,” Brown said. “And then it kind of carries and builds through the summer, and then during your first two weeks of camp, I think it’s kind of solidified. When you get into the season, it’s how you handle your first big piece of adversity.
Maybe it was a result of the high-intensity summer workouts that players applauded all summer.
Brown to resume play-calling duties
After a brief hiatus, Brown will manage the play calling system within the WVU offense this fall.
“I think there are advantages of being able to do that, as far as managing the game,” Brown said. “Taking a step back and not doing it last year is not necessarily something that I regret. It was good for me from a growth standpoint.”
Offensive coordinator Chad Scott will lead offensive meetings, and he will be the “voice” of the general offensive operation, but Brown will essentially write the language.
“The most success I’ve had as a head coach is doing [the play calling],” Brown said.
Quarterback competition update
Brown gave no indication of whether either Garrett Greene or Nicco Marchiol found an edge in the quarterback competition, but his is pleased with both of their demeanors to start the fall.
“Today, I thought his energy-level was good. Even [when] he made a couple bad decisions, it didn’t affect him. He was able to bounce back.”
“I think he’s more comfortable. he’s at ease.”
He also mentioned that he is seeing continuous growth from both quarterbacks, and he is pleased with their abilities to respond to adversity and to accept the check-down throws to running backs/tight ends when necessary.